Back Talk: A. Dolfhit Ler Weighs In
Nov06

Back Talk: A. Dolfhit Ler Weighs In

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. A Few (Satirical) Words from A. Dolfhit Ler The alt-right gets a bad rap from the...

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Back Talk: Disgusting Tabloid News in Western Mass
Oct30

Back Talk: Disgusting Tabloid News in Western Mass

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. ‘Disgusting’ ‘Tabloid’ News Many readers commented and wrote in about Andy Castillo’s...

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Back Talk: Amherst is Made Out of Particle Board
Oct23

Back Talk: Amherst is Made Out of Particle Board

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. They Might Be Giant Eyesores Particle board, particle board. Amherst is made out of...

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Backtalk: Keep Your Prayers, Act On Gun Control
Oct09

Backtalk: Keep Your Prayers, Act On Gun Control

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. Keep Your Thoughts and Prayers. Act on Gun Control (via email) Well, it has happened...

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Back Talk: Thomas Jefferson Sucks
Oct02

Back Talk: Thomas Jefferson Sucks

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. Help for Puerto Rico (via email) The devastation from Maria and lack of response in...

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Paradise Pond Poetry
Sep25

Paradise Pond Poetry

Saturating the All — Paradise Pond, Northampton There are, amongst the chronic flux of recurring secular miracles, spaces between the miracles that are equally miraculous. Cases in point: the lazy wands of industrial hydro-bazookas saturating the all- female college ball-field; two kayakers forming Aztec consonants on the assonant lake; a dead tree submerged in water yet still channeling autumn’s livid embers through its oblivious...

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Back Talk: Little Ol’ Easthampton’s Punk Rockers
Sep18

Back Talk: Little Ol’ Easthampton’s Punk Rockers

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find comments from readers on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. What About Radical Christian Terrorism? Donald Trump likes to spout off about...

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Back Talk: Rage Against the Gantries
Sep11

Back Talk: Rage Against the Gantries

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find comments from readers on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. Rage Against the Gantries (via Facebook and valleyadvocate.com) Comments in...

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Back Talk: Wypipo Smoking Weed in the Streets and a New Name for Amherst
Sep05

Back Talk: Wypipo Smoking Weed in the Streets and a New Name for Amherst

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find comments from readers on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email  editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. Weed in the Streets (via Facebook) Some reactions to “Smoking Weed in Public:...

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Back Talk: So Many Losers
Aug28

Back Talk: So Many Losers

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find comments from readers on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. So Many Losers (via email) I can’t believe that the first term of The...

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Backtalk: Further Thoughts On Gender Pay Gap
Aug21

Backtalk: Further Thoughts On Gender Pay Gap

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find comments from readers on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvcoate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvcoate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. It Follows: The Gender Wage Gap (via email) I have read your article in the...

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Back Talk: Mercs, Bicycles, and Farm Fresh Humor
Aug14

Back Talk: Mercs, Bicycles, and Farm Fresh Humor

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find comments from readers on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvoate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject. A Prince Among Mercenaries (via email) I was so excited to hear that Donald Trump...

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Back Talk: Kudos on Abortion Story, But …
Aug07

Back Talk: Kudos on Abortion Story, But …

Editors’ Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find comments from readers on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject, or visit us online. Keep up to date by signing up for our email newsletter at...

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Back Talk: Bicyclists Need to Stay Off Sidewalk
Jul31

Back Talk: Bicyclists Need to Stay Off Sidewalk

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find comments from readers on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email editor@valleyadvocate.com and put “BackTalk” or “letter to the editor” in the subject, or visit us online. Keep up to date by signing up for our email newsletter at...

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Backtalk: In Defense of Iron Horse Entertainment Group
Jul24

Backtalk: In Defense of Iron Horse Entertainment Group

Letters to the Editor In Defense of Iron Horse Entertainment Group Tiring to see all the IHEG (Iron Horse Entertainment Group) bashing [“Behind the Music: The People and Promoters Going Beyond IHEG,” July 13-19, 2017]! First, people don’t realize how fortunate we are to have national acts coming to the area. I’ve personally enjoyed many awesome acts throughout the years at all the IHEG venues [Pearl Street, Iron Horse, Calvin,...

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Back Talk: IHEG Under Fire
Jul17

Back Talk: IHEG Under Fire

Iron Horse  Entertainment Group Under Fire Several readers took issue with what they perceived as a lack of interest in the local music scene from IHEG in the comments section and on Facebook in last week’s cover story, “Behind the Music,” July 13-19, 2017. Here are a few examples. Austin Hatch: As a member of a local band, we DO have some power to change this. My band won’t play IHEG venues, and we’ve turned down booking...

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Backtalk: Independent Media More Reliable Than Mainstream Lemmings
Jul10

Backtalk: Independent Media More Reliable Than Mainstream Lemmings

Independent Media for the Win During this past presidential election season mainstream media focused their cameras on an empty podium waiting for Donald Trump to give a speech. They could have broadcast images of Bernie Sanders giving his message to the people but they chose not to do so. This decision was made by mainstream media officials. The present situation has gotten worse. The White House Press Corps has become a bunch of weak...

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Back Talk: With Rep. Neal in Office, Who Needs a Republican?
Jul03

Back Talk: With Rep. Neal in Office, Who Needs a Republican?

With Rep. Neal in Office, Who Needs a Republican? Thank you for the excellent article on Representative Richard Neal (“Can Rankled Rural Voters Dethrone Congressman Neal?” June 22-28, 2017). I remember when the state redrew our districts so that Northampton and Amherst, both from the 5 College liberal quadrant, were separated. This thrust Northampton, where I lived, into Neal’s district, something at the time I was not happy about...

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Back Talk: Congressman Neal Needs A Progressive Challenger
Jun26

Back Talk: Congressman Neal Needs A Progressive Challenger

Readers Respond to Story on Congressman Neal Several readers wrote in about our cover story on rural and progressive activist dissatisfaction of Congressman Richard Neal [“Can Rankled Rural Voters Dethrone Congressman Neal?” June 22-28, 2017]. Here are some of the responses. Progressive Challenger Needed Against Neal Terrific in-depth piece on Richie Neal. Thanks. Small correction: Neal was unopposed in the 2012 general, but was...

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Back Talk: Death by Hoes and the Curious Case of the Disappearing Signs
Jun12

Back Talk: Death by Hoes and the Curious Case of the Disappearing Signs

Disappearing Signs in Easthampton Say a Lot In times like these it is more important than ever to focus attention on fair and equal access to freedom of expression. For the past two weeks, I have been witness to what seems to be the twice illicit removal of a Black Lives Matter sign from the shoulder of Route 141 in a residential district near the base of Mt. Tom. It was about two weeks ago I first noticed the sign placed in the...

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Back Talk: Reader comments on marijuana, climate change, and addiction
Jun05

Back Talk: Reader comments on marijuana, climate change, and addiction

Sticky Green Thumbs A few responses to the May 25-31, 2017 O, Cannabis column: “Growing Your Own Weed In Massachusetts: A How-To Guide” Editor’s Note: Marty Klein was quoted in the article for his growing expertise. A slight clarification re: number of plants allowed. There is no limit on the number of plants a MA medical marijuana card holder can grow. They are limited, however, on the total weight of cured buds in their possession...

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Back Talk: Life Is More Than ‘Get Them Fat Stacks’
May30

Back Talk: Life Is More Than ‘Get Them Fat Stacks’

I started talking with a customer the other day at work. He was looking for something in the store, not sure if we had it, he may have got something else. I was in the middle of something, not in the mood to make small talk. But we started to chat. We kind of butted heads at first, I had some other things to do, he had some real questions, and he may have been looking to talk a little as well. We’ve been understaffed lately, so it can...

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Back Talk: Why I Marched For Science
May22

Back Talk: Why I Marched For Science

Why I Marched for Science In 1970, we celebrated the first Earth Day. I remember it vividly as a college student at the University of Michigan. The energy of the first Earth Day, focused on the alarming rate of deterioration of our environment, helped lead to landmark changes in policy such as creation of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. Earth Day is now a worldwide...

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Back Talk: Hope for Better Health Care
May15

Back Talk: Hope for Better Health Care

Hope for Better Health Care Thank you for your piece in the Advocate (“Between the Lines: With Obamacare Under Fire, Massachusetts Must Lead on Health Care — Again,” May 11-17, 2017). However, it seems from it that you may not be familiar with House Bill 2987 and Senate Bill 619, Mass-Care, or our WMass network of pro-single-payer advocates and groups. You may also be interested in the fact that single-payer is in the Massachusetts...

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Back Talk: Stop Sending Weapons to Syria for an Endless War
May08

Back Talk: Stop Sending Weapons to Syria for an Endless War

Stop Sending Weapons to Syria At a presentation given by the Northampton Committee to Stop Wars, I asked two Syrian speakers whether Syrians predominantly support President Assad or the rebels. They both said that the country is extremely divided and that their support goes back and forth depending on who most recently killed a family member. One said that he knew only two people left in Syria, his parents, and the rest were scattered...

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Back Talk: Naom Chomsky a Bummer But Speaks Truth
May01

Back Talk: Naom Chomsky a Bummer But Speaks Truth

Splitting Radiation Hairs Radiation exposure at 10 mrem? 15? 25? Small fractions of what everyone gets from natural background? These being hypothetical exposures (outlined in “Nuclear Activists Raise Concern Over Vermont Yankee Quick Fix,” April 27-May 3, 2017) to the single, most exposed individual, calculated using ridiculously conservative hypothetical analyses — translation, nobody will actually get even a 10th...

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From our Readers: hot haikus and science marches
Apr17

From our Readers: hot haikus and science marches

Hot Haikus In response to our call on our Facebook page “It is in the 80s today. Someone write a haiku about the weather in the comments”, here’s a few entries from the community: Massachusetts spring No rhyme or reason to it Roller coaster ride — Frank Giuliano Hot enough to swim Spring has only just started Be prepared for snow — Wil King Hey, now I can use all of these ice cubes in my refrigerator. — Corey Plucker   Not so...

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Letters to the Editor: ‘Achievers have been out bred and out voted’
Apr10

Letters to the Editor: ‘Achievers have been out bred and out voted’

Stay Home From School Better questions for the article (“Breaking the School to Prison Pipeline: Springfield reduces in-school arrests, but is it enough?”, March 30-April 5, 2017) would have been: Why were the students arrested? Did anyone do the same thing and were not arrested? We had children in schools when Dr. Peter Negroni was superintendent of Springfield schools [in the 1990s]. Crime in the schools was a regular occurrence. A...

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Back Talk: Weighing in on Boston’s Racism; and a Dumpty Trumpty poem
Apr03

Back Talk: Weighing in on Boston’s Racism; and a Dumpty Trumpty poem

You Can’t Make an Omelette … Poem and illustration by Mary L. Rice, maryl.rice@yahoo.com Is Boston Super Racist? Readers weigh in on the question posed in a Between the Lines of the same name in the March 30-April 5, 2017. Via Facebook Evan H Gregg: “Beloved Boston?” This is Western Mass, kid. Only people from Boston love Boston around here. — Ben Easton: Well put, man! What grinds my gears is those stupid traffic message signs...

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Back Talk: Call out Anti-Semitism and Avoiding Fire Disasters
Mar27

Back Talk: Call out Anti-Semitism and Avoiding Fire Disasters

Tell it Like it Is Editor’s Note: This comment is in response to “Cinemadope: In Plain Site: Stories from overlooked worlds,” March 9-15, 2017, and the author’s statement, “Over the last few months, it has become impossible to ignore the rising tides of xenophobia, racism, and other forms of bigotry and hatred that have suddenly made America a much scarier place …” In the future could you include the word “anti-Semitism”? It...

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Back Talk: Music venues, a hero, and weed
Mar20

Back Talk: Music venues, a hero, and weed

Our Hero! Thanks for the Facebook comments left in response to “Don’t Be Afraid to Get Arrested: Longtime Activist Paki Wieland Says Today’s Protesters Aren’t Disturbing Enough People” Jim Sorter: Now we have a new hero who will inspire our lives. Thank you for letting us meet her! Kathleen Daly: ’Bout time someone put this to the page! Ana Thompson: Loved reading about this woman! Pro-Marijuana Groups are Blowing It Many people...

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Back Talk: West Mess, readers respond to ‘West Mass’ tourism video
Mar13

Back Talk: West Mess, readers respond to ‘West Mass’ tourism video

‘West Mass’ Responses on Facebook… We had some questions about the ‘West Mass’ video, an effort by the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts to re-brand the area and attract tourists — and you had some thoughts about this dud, too. Here are some comments left on the Advocate’s website and Facebook page in response to “We Have Questions About That ‘West...

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Back Talk: Diversity in Metal? Circus Without Cliche
Mar06

Back Talk: Diversity in Metal? Circus Without Cliche

Diversity in Metal? Comments on WMass Metal: The Valley’s Diverse Scene Rises Again at valleyadvocate.com. Jenna Weingarten: How are you going to write a headline that says “diverse” in it and feature a bunch of white people and men? As someone in a Western Mass punk scene, I can confess WMass isn’t admittedly the most diverse place to be a punk, but there’s more diverse scenes than this crap. Honestly, in this day and age this is...

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Back Talk: Love Trumps Hate
Feb20

Back Talk: Love Trumps Hate

Facebook Love Response to “Love Trumps Hate: Transgender women find romance in an insane world,” Feb. 9-15, 2017. Melissa Robinson Ferris: I’ve known Bri since our sons were in grade school together 10 years ago! It’s wonderful to see her looking so well and sounding so happy Caroline Wills: What a great love story for Valentine’s day! Brianna and Amy thank you for sharing your story! The world needs more love stories! Leslie Gray:...

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Back Talk: What is Trump Doing in Holyoke?
Feb13

Back Talk: What is Trump Doing in Holyoke?

What is Trump Doing in Holyoke? As a teacher at Holyoke High School, I applaud your positive news piece about the students at Holyoke High School working to bring about more awareness to stop violence in our school community (“Between the Lines: What Do You Expect From Holyoke?” Feb. 2-8, 2017). However, I am perplexed as to why you would insert two paragraphs about Donald Trump into the article, which insinuates that this student...

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